Know your bloggers or No to bloggers

I have just read an article in PR Week called Know your Bloggers and seems to have been sparked of by the now famous Andrew Marr outburst about bloggers

The PR Week article highlights that PR professionals dismissing bloggers do so at their own peril.  Though I would not necessarily be so dramatic.  The case they use is basically a blogger, engaged by a company, complaining about the companies treatment.  You don't even need to be a blogger to complain in a very public way - we have the Stephen Nolan Show.

They even use a OnePoll survey to ask 3,000 people a number of questions regarding bloggers, trust and accuracy.  It found 15% of people read blogs regularly and 54% read occasionally.  19% said blogs were a valuable addition to online news with 58% saying blogs were sometimes valuable additions.

Importantly only 6% believe bloggers get their facts right and 61% believe they get facts right sometimes.  Interestingly, only 9% trust the Press to get their facts right and 61% believe they get facts right sometimes.  So the Press (journalists) are only slightly more trusted than bloggers.  And the common accusation about the quality of bloggers is down to lack of editorial experience, which does not seem to stack with the figures.  a curve ball on the whole issue was a question about which news source being the most trustworthy to give accurate factual news.  TV was at 62%, Radio at 15%, News papers at 14% and Blogs at 3%.

I do believe bloggers add value to news coverage and information distribution.  Sometimes it is the news outlets that use blogs to glean a story that the blogger has broken, so bloggers could be seen as contributing to news production in an active way, rather than just reacting to it.  Some bloggers have gone on to be journalists, whilst some journalists have become prolific bloggers, like Mark Devenport.

The article also breaks bloggers down into 5 types - Expert, Hobby, Mummy, Professional and Opinion.  I have not quite made my mind up about the 5 types but they seem to fit OK.  Though just google 'types of blogger' and you will see the number going from 3 to 15.

While i wonder about the overall usefulness of the artricle, it does interest me to begin looking at different NI blogs and trying to ties them into the 5 types.  Most of the ones I would know off are either Hobby or Opinion blogs (with a little of the professional thrown in).  For instance, Bobballs or Splintered Sunrise or even 3000 Versts would be Opinion Bloggers; Wee Gamers from Northern Ireland (my own), AJs Gaming World, or Colonel Toffeeapple's Toys are Hobby; Slugger o'Toole would be a Opinion/Professional mix; Alan in Belfast would be a Hobby/Opinion mix; cimota would be a Opinion/Expert blog.

And so it could continue on.

I may perhaps try to use a format like this to split out blogs into areas of particular interest rather than lump them altogether.  That might be a piece of advice a lot of us could take on board as we all search for better User Experience. 

There is also an interesting quick post up on Will and Testament about how blogs and blogging has changed. 


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